In mid-August, our founder and industrial designer, Sunghyun, travelled to Haiti to volunteer with Christian NGO Heaven in Me and share BTN with people in need.
In Haiti, the government is advising its citizens to wear masks, and Haitians do wear them in public markets and airports. However, Sunghyun noticed that general mask use is low, in part because people don’t want to bother with the inconvenience of masks.
In Haiti, COVID-19 case numbers and deaths are lower than predicted: as of August 9, 2020, Haiti reported only 183 COVID-19 deaths from its population of 11.2 million.
At the Heaven in Me (HIM) centre, Sunghyun has been providing general help with construction and expansion, including work to improve the centre’s access to water and electricity. He is also helping with the HIM elementary school.
Thanks to HIM’s generous donors, they were able to distribute N95 masks to Haitian students at the HIM elementary school. However, it is difficult to encourage the students to wear masks because the masks are hot and not breathable. Furthermore, there is a lack of understanding about the importance of mask-wearing.
Now, Sunghyun is encouraging students to use the BTN as an alternative mask option. It is not as difficult to wear, while still providing a reasonable amount of protection given Haiti’s relatively low COVID case numbers and Heaven in Me’s well-ventilated outdoor classroom.
BTN is a useful educational tool to help kids understand the importance of mask-wearing. Additionally, the students will learn general best practices for health, including things like regular handwashing and staying home when they’re sick.
You can find Heaven in Me Haiti on Facebook.
Sunghyun is still volunteering in Haiti now. Let’s wish him the best!